PSIM software can help banks manage ATM security, say Vidsys and Diebold

Martin Koffijberg, Diebold
Diebold ATM cash dispenser

The price of cash on demand is the need for very high levels of security

Diebold, manufacturer of ATM cash dispensers for banking, has been deploying physical security information management (PSIM) systems in support of its customer base.

Diebold provides a range of products and services to support its ATMs including software and security. One of the PSIM providers it works with is Vidsys and I recently met up with Diebold and Vidsys at a trade show to learn more about how they work together.

The company’s security expert, Martin Koffijberg, explained some of the threats to ATMs and how Diebold aims to fix them.

As a target for thieves, the ATM cash machine is in a class of its own. Essentially an unattended box stuffed with cash and left to sit in a public area, ATMs must be armoured and employ a raft of security measures to detect and prevent increasingly sophisticated attacks including card fraud, skimming, uploading malicious software and unauthorised access to the computer within the machine.

Martin Koffijberg, Diebold

Martin Koffijberg, Diebold

Of all of these attacks, skimming is still the biggest threat, with hundreds of millions of Euros being lost across Europe, Koffijberg said. In the UK, a big problem is cash trapping, the practice of inserting an object in the cash dispenser slot to prevent a customer’s cash from being collected – after the customer has given up and left, the thief simply removes the blockage and the cash comes out.

He showed me around a demonstration unit, explaining as we went the many ways that thieves attempt to break into ATMs and some of the countermeasures that Diebold has developed.

An important aspect of security is video surveillance, and CCTV can be installed in a number of locations to monitor the inside and outside of the ATM. Typical events which would be recorded or monitored in real time would include anyone standing in front of a machine, card insertion, cash withdrawal and ATM servicing.

In addition, there are a number of alarms built which can be built into an ATM machine including vibration sensors, tampering detectors and gas detectors, all of which would require the raising of an alarm at the bank’s security centre.

Cash trapping involves putting an object in the dispenser to prevent cash from coming out. After the customer has left empty handed, the thief returns to remove the blockage and take the cash. Diebold ATMs get around this problem by retracting cash from the dispenser if it is not taken within a certain number of seconds.

Cash trapping involves putting an object in the dispenser to prevent cash from coming out. After the customer has left empty handed, the thief returns to remove the blockage and take the cash. Diebold ATMs get around this problem by retracting cash from the dispenser if it is not taken within a certain number of seconds.

A mock-up of a typical card skimming device. The ATM senses the foreign object and locks the card reader.

A mock-up of a card skimming device. The ATM senses the foreign object and locks the card reader.

However, with hundreds or thousands of machines to monitor, there is a requirement for software to help banks manage this process.

In addition, banks would ideally like to be able to be proactive in detecting and preventing crime before it happens, rather than always responding after the fact.

Which is where Vidsys’s PSIM product comes in. James Whybrow, who was at the time sales director EMEA but has now left the company, explained that PSIM enables the banks to develop situational awareness across hundreds or thousands of machines and monitor these situations in real time. In addition, PSIM provides a framework for incident response that ensures the correct information goes to the right first responders in a timely fashion.

Due to the varied environments in which ATMS can be situated, and being in close proximity to the public, false alarms are a big problem for the banks. In one case, Whybrow said a bank had been suffering from 80,000 false alarms a year but since installing a PSIM solution, that number had decreased markedly.

Links
www.diebold.com
www.vidsys.com

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